Sephora Spring Bonus Sale Event

Sephora Spring Bonus Sale Event

It’s Sephora’s turn for great beauty deals! The Spring Bonus Sale Event goes from April 13th-16th and again April 20th-23rd for VIB Rouge members who will receive 15% off. On Friday April 13th, VIB Rouge member can bring a friend in store and extend the Rouge discount to them as well. Plus, you can both receive a free gift bag with samples and a Sephora card case with any purchase.  For VIB members and Beauty Insiders, the sale goes from April 20th-23rd. VIB members will receive 15% off as well while Beauty Insiders will receive 10% off their purchases.  Here are the promo codes if you choose to shop online:

For Rouge members: YAYROUGE
For VIB members: YAYVIB
For Beauty Insiders: YAYINSIDER

Again, since this is a very modest (and pretty passable discount), I really try to strategize when selecting my purchases in order to maximize my bang for my buck! Here are some personal rules and tips that I try to follow to keep my cart from getting out of hand:

Tip #1 – Choose items that are exclusive to Sephora.  Since this retailer doesn’t offer many deals year round, this is a good time to stock up items that you can only find here (e.g. Sephora Collection, Fenty Beauty, Exclusive Sephora Collaborations)

Tip #2 – Take advantage of value sets! These sets are typically priced lower than their actual values, so you’re making a good deal even better with the discount code. This is an excellent way to also try products from a variety of brands or try some favorites from one specific company.

Tip #3 – Check out the sale page! It may seem redundant but this just means double discounts.

Tip #4 – If you know that you will use an item regularly, it may not be a bad idea to stock up on back-ups while they’re on sale.

Tip #5 – Have fun but don’t get crazy, because that can be expensive! Trying new items is just half the fun, so I do let myself get a couple random items to try out.

*Bonus Pro-Tip: If you shop online, don’t forget to take advantage of Ebates. This is a cash back program that I have been using for years! This is in addition to any cash back that you may already receive from your credit card. What a great way to sweeten your deals! Check out Ebates or sign up by clicking here.


Scroll below to check out my top picks for the Sephora Spring Bonus Event!
*Note: The sale prices reflect the VIB Rouge / VIB discount of 15% off

Value Sets

Sephora Favorites –  Power of the Petal (New)
Original Price: $38.00 – Value: $124.00 – Sale Price $32.30

Too Faced – Sex on the Peach Complexion Set (Limited Edition)
Original Price: $45.00 – Value: $85.00 – Sale Price $38.25

Sephora Favorites – Sun Safety Kit
Original Price: $36.00 – Value: $161.00 – Sale Price $30.60

Fenty Beauty – Bomb Baby Mini Lip and Face Set
Original Price: $23.00 – Calculated Value: $21.69 – Sale Price $19.55
(NOTE: Sephora did not disclose the product value on their website so I calculated it based on the prices of a full size Kilawatt Freestyle Highlighter and Gloss Bomb)

Hermès – Garden Collection Coffret Set
Original Price: $50.00 – Calculated Value: $41.82 – Sale Price $33.15
(NOTE: Sephora did not disclose the product value on their website so I calculated it based on the price of a full size bottle of perfume ($138.00 for 3.3.oz)

Marc Jacobs Beauty – The Blacquer Eye
Original Price: $39.00 – Value: $69.00 – Sale Price $33.15

Marc Jacobs Beauty – Enamored With Coconut: Complexion and Gloss Set
Original Price: $75.00 – Value: $149.00 – Sale Price $63.75


Items Already on the Sale Page

Becca – Light Chaser Highlighter in Amethyst Flashes Geode
Original Price: $34.00 – Sale Price: $17.00 – Additional Sale Price: $14.45

Nars – Danger Control Eyeshadow Palette
Original Price: $49.99 – Value: $149.00 – Sale Price: $24.50 – Additional Sale Price: $20.83
*That’s about 86% off the value price! 

Sephora Collection – Bright Future Color Corrector in Peach
Original Price: $14.00 – Sale Price: $7.00 – Additional Sale Price: $5.95


What items will you be picking up during the Sephora Spring Bonus Event? Comment below!

Useful Apps for Traveling and Taking Pictures

The countdown is officially ON for our upcoming holiday to Switzerland and Italy! Whenever we prepare for a trip, there are a few apps that I like to make sure are loaded and updated on my phone. From interactive maps to photo-editing tools, I have found these to be great ways to help enjoy our time away and capture memories to look back on.

Google Maps (Free) – Okay, this sounds obvious, I know. However, this has made a world of difference on our travels! When outside of the US, we usually don’t have data plans that allow us to use internet on our phones without wifi. Granted, it’s nice to find a Starbucks with free wifi almost anywhere we go, but wifi hot spots are never guaranteed and some of the best destinations are far from free internet connections. By uploading offline maps beforehand, we can use them whenever and wherever we are without any worries. Plus, the maps are still interactive so the map moves as you move. Also, you can star any specific stores, museums, hotels, restaurants, tourist sites, etc. on a map so you can refer back to it to later. This is how we go about planning our days while on holiday in order to find the most efficient routes to get to various points of attraction. On the flip side, this app lets as also just wander freely and explore new places knowing that we can always find our way back using Google maps offline.

Stylebook (Price: $3.99) – For those who have a tendency to overpack (like me!), this is a fun way to better manage your wardrobe. Essentially, you start by uploading pictures of your individual clothes/accessories or just find photos of the items online. Then use the app to put together different outfits! Sounds simple enough but Stylebook provides so many more capabilities to make the most out of your closet. For example, you can also create packing lists to ensure that you remember to bring everything you need for a trip. For those who prefer to use this app for day-to-day outfits, there is also a calendar that allows you to plan out what to wear on specific days. This could be a useful way to plan out outfits for scheduled wedding/events, corporate meetings, etc. Also, Stylebook takes it a step further and analyzes how much use you are actually getting out of each particular wardrobe piece. When you upload a picture of an item, you can also input how much you paid for it. Then Stylebook calculates “style stats” to evaluate your total closet value, cost per wear for each item, and most packed items. Stylebook can also identify your most and least worn pieces to also keep your wardrobe efficient. Check out the pictures below to see how I utilize the app!

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Yelp (Free) – Once you arrive at your destination, Yelp is an amazing means of discovering local businesses! Be sure to check in to help bookmark these places and leave your reviews.  As a part of the Yelp Elite, I LOVE checking out ratings, reviews, and pictures of food on the app. This also help to decide what sites and restaurants are worth going to and which are ok to pass on.

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Instagram (Free) – Whichever social media platform you prefer, these are great ways to share some of your memories online. I also like to browse through Instagram before my trips to scope out any IG-worthy sceneries. You can also tag your location in each post so you can look back to see where you’ve been!

Facetune ($3.99) – Have you ever taken a great picture, only to go home later and find out that someone totally photobombed your shot? Maybe you’ve traveled to a world famous attraction only to have tons of other tourists all over your picture too? Facetune is a great app to help erase any unwanted people/things out of your pics. Plus. it does a great job of blurring out any undereye bags that you may have developed while traveling!

What apps do you take with you on your travels? Comment below! 

Week 3 (FINAL WEEK) – Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty – My Top Picks for Daily Steals

Week 3 (FINAL WEEK) – Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty – My Top Picks for Daily Steals

 

We’re down to the final stretch! This is the 3rd and final week of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty. Hopefully, by now, you’ve already scored some great deals and freebies! This week, Ulta is finishing up the sale event with more amazing steals, even on items that I have never seen so deeply discounted! Check out my top must-haves below. Also, don’t forget that this is also the last week to take advantage of any Hot Buys as well, so check out my separate post here for recommendations!

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Sunday, April 1

Dose of Colors Marvelous Mauves Eyeshadow Palette – This Beauty Steal is online only. I’m pretty excited to try this out! My sister raves out DOC’s Sassy Siennas Palette, so I have high hopes for their pigmentation. The shades included are: Fluffy (milky pale pink), Rosy (light rosy pink), Wishy Washy (dusty mauve), Spaced Out (muted berry mauve), and Wine Stain (blackberry).

Monday, April 2

MAC Instant Artistry Lip Prep Nude Kit – This is an online-only Platinum Perk, so you must be logged into your Ulta account and have Platinum or Diamond status to be eligible. This set has a $52 value, retails for $39.50, but will be on sale for only $19.75! I’m thrilled to see more MAC items included in these promotional events! This kit includes 3 full-size products: a Prep + Prime Lip Base, a Lipstick in Velvet Teddy, and a Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare. Velvet Teddy has been a long-time staple for me as I often reach for it during work days for a more neutral lip color. Actually, I reach for it everyday! It’s matte but very moisturizing, and it continues to look great even as it slowly fades throughout the day. Ulta previously had a deal where Velvet Teddy alone was 50% off making it $8.75, but this is a great way to try out the lip pencil and Prep + Prime at an excellent price!

Wednesday, April 4

Dermablend Loose Setting Powder – I originally purchased this product in colorless on a whim during last year’s 21 Days of Beauty Event. My combo skin tends to be more oily during Spring and Summer, so I try to use a setting powder to help keep my makeup in place and prevent it from becoming a slip and slide during long work days (biggest pet peeve!). To my surprise, this setting powder actually worked better for me than other cult favorites, including the Laura Mercier Translucent Powder, the RCMA No Colour Powder, and the Ben Nye Banana Powder. The Dermablend Powder also works well for baking and really helps to improve the longevity of makeup looks. Plus, there’s a freebie with any Dermablend purchase (scroll down for details)!

Saturday, April 7

MAC Prep + Prime Fix + – For the last day of the 21 Days of Beauty, Ulta is going BIG with this steal! The original scent will be 50% off, making it only $13 for the full-size (3.4 oz)! I have yet to see this item at such a good discount, especially since the mini size (1 oz) retails for $12.  This is the OG of hydrating/setting mists! It gives an instant boost of hydration while creating a soft glow to refresh and set makeup. You can also spray brushes with this prior to dipping into eyeshadows/pigments to help create a more high-impact look! OR you can add small amount of gold/bronze pigment to this bottle, shake it up, and spray all over for that summer glow! There are so many different uses for this, for beginners and pros alike.

If you plan on stocking up on any of these items (or other beauty steals), remember to check out my other post here to learn about rules and limitations to how many you can purchase.

Freebie Alerts:

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* Pro-Tip:  Add either the Deluxe Liquid Facial Soap in Oily or Deluxe Liquid Facial Soap in Mild to your cart. There will a price of $10, but once you add any other item to your cart, this will become FREE!

 

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*Pro-Tip: FREE Leather Cosmetic Bag with any Dermablend purchase (offer valid 3/18/18-4/7/18 or while supplies last). This freebie should be added to your cart automatically.

 

 

*Bonus Pro-Tip: Whether you are part of Ulta’s Rewards Program or not, don’t forget to take advantage of Ebates. This is a cash back program that I have been using for years! This is in addition to any cash back that you may already receive from your credit card. What a great way to sweeten your deals! Check out Ebates or sign up by clicking here.

Re-doing Venice, Italy

Proposal

On March 29th a few years ago, my then boyfriend proposed to me in the middle of Piazza San Marco.  At that moment, it was beyond amazing to have the entire square to ourselves! Normally, Piazza San Marcos is bustling with locals and tourists alike, but on that morning, it was just us! Granted it was about 5:30am and drizzling, but this historic landmark became the perfect backdrop to our proposal. We jokingly say that he had rented out the piazza to pop the question.  Life was very different back then. He was just starting off his career in finance, and I was still in pharmacy school on spring break. In reality, we still wouldn’t be able to rent out the entire piazza today, but we’ll always have that memory to keep! Now, we’re happily married, progressing in our careers, and as timing would having it, we’re planning to return to venice for holiday in a couple weeks!

While the “City of Canals” has its many sights and attractions, I’ll be honest – our first visit wasn’t the greatest. Maybe we were still young and naive travelers? I remember being frustrated and lost amongst the countless bridges and canals. Without an interactive map, it felt like such a big maze.  We enjoyed some iconic site such as the Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge, and Doge’s Palace. However, this time, we’re excited to re-do Venice and hopefully discover more beautiful scenes, scout new foods, and try some first-time activities.

Check out my wish list below of things to do or see as we re-do Venice!

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http://www.thelifeofluxury.com/incredible-experience-2015-venice-carnival/

1) Take a romantic gondola ride – When we were in Venice last, this really didn’t seem like something I cared to do. The weather was chilly and it seemed like a huge tourist trap. However, looking back, I feel like I missed out on one of the most iconic activities in the “City of Canals.” They even emulate this at the Venitian Hotel in Las Vegas, so why not try the real thing?! I’m actually really looking forward to crossing this off my bucket list!

 

2) Enjoy local tapas – Food is really one of the best ways to experience a new destination. Plus, it’s not a vacation until you can relax, enjoy delicious bites, and take in the scene with a bellini. We’re hoping to visit Cantinone Già Schiavi, which is known to be a local bar where little to no English is spoken but everyone understands how good the food is. Sounds perfect!

3) T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi – I recently found out about T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi since it is often listed as a tourist shopping mall. While I can’t deny my love to shop, what earns this location a spot on my bucket list is actually its rooftop terrace.  Reservations are highly recommended as the terrace can accommodate 80 guests during each 15-minute time slot. However, within this brief time frame, you can indulge in  panoramic views overlooking the city. 

4) Have an expresso at Florian Caffe –  Sure, this idea seems super #basic (hashtag intended), but Florian Caffe is actually the oldest coffee shop in Italy and arguably, in all of Europe. Since it opened in 1720, its interior boasts grand Venitian charm and neo-baroque decor. Meanwhile, the outside terrace basks in a up and close view of Piazza San Marco. I’m hoping to grab a table outside and so some people-watching, coffee mug in hand.

I plan to do an updated post with pictures of what we end up doing this time around. What else should we do or see in Venice? Comment below! 

 

Week 2: Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty – My Top Picks for Daily Steals

*Ding ding ding! Time for Round 2! The fun continues for Week 2 of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty. This week is filled with great deals on a variety of makeup and skin care products. I am definitely stocking up on one item specifically…Can you guess what it’ll be? There a couple well-loved products that I’ve used up before and plan on re-purchasing as well as a couple items that I am very intrigued to try, especially at these low prices. Check out my top picks for this week below! Also, every item that I’ve featured below also has a free gift with purchase once you meet the spend requirement, so make sure to scroll through the end!

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Sunday, March 25

It Cosmetics Airbrush Smoothing Foundation Brush #102 – This is a medium-sized, loose paddle brush with a fluffy rounded tip that works best with liquid or cream foundations. I usually like to apply my liquid foundation with a brush prior to buffing it out with my Beauty Blender. This brush, in particular, has stellar reviews (4.5 stars out of 201 reviews on the Ulta website) for a smooth, streak-free application. Have any of you tried this brush? What do you think? I’m tempted!

Tuesday, March 27

Kopari Beauty Coconut Melt – This is an online-only promotion and will be a definite re-purchase for me. I initially purchased the mini size (2.5 oz for $18) to try it out and absolutely love it. This is a steal, since you actually get the full-size (5.1oz) for 50% off making it only $14! It can be used as an all-over body moisturizer (my favorite way to use it), under-eye hydrator, makeup remover, and lip soother. It’s 100% organic, vegan, phthalate-free, cruelty-free & GMO-free. Sourced from the Philippines, this coconut oil smells like a tropical paradise!

Friday, March 30

Lime Crime Hi-Lite Palettes – This is another online-only deal that I’m intrigued about. I haven’t tried much from Lime Crime other than their Velvetines. However, these highlight palettes look great and come in a variety of shade options. There are 6 different palettes (each with 3 different highlight shades) available on the Ulta website, including the Fairies Hi-Lite Palette, which is an Ulta exclusive. I’m tempted to try out the Blossoms Hi-Lite Palette for a bronzy glow this summer! Have you tried any of the Hi-Lite Palettes?

Saturday, March 31

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil – I wait all year long for Ulta’s Spring 21 Days of Beauty for THIS item! I use it everyday for an easy way to create more precise, hair-like strokes. This is a holy grail item for me, so I’ll be stocking up. I could rave about this item all day, or you can see the 4.5 star-rating out of 5,824 reviews on the Ulta website. There are 10 shade options available online, which is quite impressive compared to other brow brands. However, don’t forget to check out my other blog post here to learn about limitations on how many can be purchased. Also, ABH also has a gift with purchase (see below) that you can also take advantage of!

Freebie Alerts:

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 12.43.46 PM*Pro-Tip: FREE deluxe Coconut Rose Toner with any $28 Kopari Beauty purchase (offer valid 3/18/18-4/7/18 or while supplies last). If you purchase 2 Kopari Beauty Coconut Melts when they are on sale for $14 each, you would qualify for this freebie! This freebie is online only and should be added to your cart automatically once you’ve met the spend requirement.

 

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*Pro-Tip: You can also receive a FREE Mini Lip Gloss in Kristen and Compact Mirror with any $45 Anastasia Beverly Hills purchase (offer valid 3/18/18-4/7/18 or while supplies last). This freebie is online only and should be added to your cart automatically once you’ve met the spend requirement.

 

*Bonus Pro-Tip: Whether you are part of Ulta’s Rewards Program or not, don’t forget to take advantage of Ebates. This is a cash back program that I have been using for years! This is in addition to any cash back that you may already receive from your credit card. What a great way to sweeten your deals! Check out Ebates or sign up by clicking here.

 

 

Stop and Smell the Rosé in Napa

Stop and Smell the Rosé in Napa

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It’s still rainy here in the Bay Area, so for today’s Thirsty Thursday post, I’m reminiscing about our sunny trip to wine country. A couple weeks ago, I got to spend time with cousins and friends wine tasting in Napa, California. Our party of 7 enjoyed sipping some bubbly while enjoying the the picturesque views of Domaine Carneros.

Group tastings are offered here for parties of 6 or more and require a minimum spend of $30 per person. Each tasting includes a sampling of four of the winery’s drinks and some finger snacks. However, don’t expect much from the complimentary snacks as they typically include an unimpressive bowl of almonds for the table. Each guest can choose from the Sparkling Wine Sampler ($30), Red Wine Sampler ($30), Chateau Sampler ($30), or Grande Tasting  ($40).  See below for a listing of the specific beverages offered for each tasting option.

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There are also various cheese and charcuterie plates available to accompany your wine. Two of the cheese offering are from a local favorite, Cowgirl Creamery. This was a great way for our out-of-town guests to try a couple local products as well.  Overall, this was such a fun experience. I can’t wait to come back for just a single glass (or two!) with a much smaller party. Either way, the gorgeous views and delicious wines are two things  that we can happily toast to! Cheers! 

What other wineries would you recommend in Napa? Comment below!

 

 

 

 

 

Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty – Hot Buys

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As I shared in my last post (Tips for Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty), Hot Buys are promotions on specific items that run through the entirety of the sale event or until supplies last. Some popular items do tend to sell out quickly, so if there is something you have your eye on, don’t wait too long! Now these items are discounted less than Ulta’s daily Beauty Steals, so I usually don’t find myself purchasing many of these. However, there are a few on my wish list.

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Face and Lip Faves: 

Tarte Ready, Set, Radiant Skin Mist – Facial sprays have become very popular over the past few years as a quick way to freshen your skin. This skin mist is advertised to have “skinvigorating” ingredients such as cucumber extract, apple extract, tea seed oil, and eucalyptus leaf oil. It is also vegan, hypoallergenic, and fragrance free. I’m a big fan of Tarte, so I may try this mist as a way to soothe and re-hydrate my skin throughout the day. I also like to leave a face mist like this by my bedside to quickly spritz after my nighttime skincare routine and before I sleep.

Lipstick Queen Saint and Sinner LipstickAlthough I’m more intrigued about some of their color changing lipsticks, this is still a great opportunity to try their formula. Saint lipsticks tend to be more sheer while Sinner products are more opaque. I’ve heard and read reviews raving about the pigmentation, comfort, and longevity of these products so I may just have to test these out myself.

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Eye Faves:

Although I don’t have any must-have picks for myself this time, the Shiseido Eyelash Curler has been a cult favorite, especially for Asian and almond shaped eyes. It also features a silicone pad instead of rubber, which better helps to curl lashes and keep them curled longer. Who doesn’t like sky-high lashes?! Although this is a decent discount, I believe you can find it for a slightly lower price during other promotions or elsewhere. However, rest assured that this is still a solid buy since you can reuse this many MANY times.

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Skincare Faves:

Patchology Spoiled Rotten At-Home Pampering Kit – I haven’t tried anything from Patchology, so this is a great way to test out their product line. This set includes a pair of FlashPatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels (would be great after a long flight!), FlashPatch Hydrating Lip Gels, an Illuminate FlashMasque Facial Sheet Mask, and a PoshPeel Pedi Cure Intensive Foot Peel Treatment. I’m most intrigued about the foot peel. Although I don’t have very dry skin around my heels, I’ve heard wonderful things about this product and it’s efficacy compared to other foot peels on the market.  This set comes with a cute reusable makeup bag too. It could make for a great gift or for a girls night in with friends!

Freebie Alerts:

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*Pro-Tip: If you plan to make any purchases this week, be sure to click on this link to to add a FREE deluxe sample of the Murad Deluxe Age Reform Rapid Collagen Infusion. –It will show a price $10.00, but when you add it to the cart, the price will adjust to free! This freebie is available while supplies last. *SOLD OUT*

 

*Another Pro-Tip: Whether you are part of Ulta’s Rewards Program or not, don’t forget to take advantage of Ebates. This is a cash back program that I have been using for years! This is in addition to any cash back that you may already receive from your credit card. What a great way to sweeten your deals! Check out Ebates or sign up by clicking here.

What Hot Buys are you purchasing? Comment below!